Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Newsletters of Note VIII

I've known Steve O'Keefe for as long as I've been involved in publishing, professionally and otherwise. Formerly of Loompanics, Steve now interacts with me occasionally because of his online book promotion work. With 20 years of publishing experience, Steve has launched online marketing campaigns for more than 1,000 books. As the head of Patron Saint Productions, Steve also publishes a newsletter entitled the Beautiful Plan. It's quite different than the last newsletter-cum-zine Steve published, Piano, which focused on piano playing and instruction. But, similar to everything else he's done, it's worth reading.

The Spring 2003 edition, the seventh issue, leads with the article "Why Authors Hate You." He draws on the experiences of folks such as Steve Roth, Richard Hoy, Katharine Harmon, and Glenn Fleishman to explore the failings of author-publisher interaction -- and how an author-focused publishing cooperative might be a viable option. Edwin Colyer looks at whether books are bound by the brands of their publishers. And Steve suggests that publishers should offer the writers they work with an outline and plan for the publishing process, identifying the responsible parties at each step.

It's a slim read at eight pages, but there are a lot of ideas here worth pursuing -- some of which remind me of the work Ben Brown and Dave Eggers are doing with their respective projects. One of the better newsletters I've come across in a while. It's not available online, but you can subscribe by sending your request on company letterhead to the Beautiful Plan, Patron Saint Productions, 741 Saint Philip St. #241, New Orleans, LA 70116.

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